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Future Watch 2024

Future Watch 2024

Our annual Future Watch edition is now 116 pages packed with info examining the prospect pipeline for each NHL club and counting down the top 100 prospects in the game. In our NHL Team Reports, you'll find scouting reports for the top 10 prospects for each organization. In addition, we take an in-depth look at two teams with the best systems: the St. Louis Blues and Detroit Red Wings. And we also have features on several of the game's best youngsters, including Matvei Michkov, Will Smith, Liam Ohgren and Adam Gajan.

NCAA

ABBEY MURPHY STIRS THE POT

TO GET AN IDEA of how Abbey Murphy plays hockey, take a look at the men’s players she admires. “Andrew Shaw. Ryan Hartman. And I’m really liking Max Domi now, too,” she said. “Fast, but a sticks-up-for-his-teammates kind of guy. Doesn’t take anything from other people.” At 21, Murphy plays a similar high-event style. Now a junior at the University of Minnesota, the 5-foot-5 left winger has led the NCAA in both goals and penalty minutes this season. For her, the two go hand-in-hand. “I play aggressive, so some people just don’t like that,” she said. “My style of play is different from any others, which I like.” Growing up in the Chicago suburb of Evergreen Park, Murphy was introduced to hockey by a teenager named Tom Pratl, who lived across the street…

2025 Sneak Peek

2025 PROJECTED TOP 10

1. JAMES HAGENS C, U.S. NTDP (USHL) Dazzling center already has one gold at the U-18s and could get another in the spring. MVP of the All-American Prospects Game. Boston College commit. SCOUT SAYS: “Checks all the boxes and has to be the clear No. 1 for next year. He’s smart, makes plays, controls the play, creates scoring opportunities, always around the puck and makes everyone around him better.” 2. PORTER MARTONE RW, Mississauga (OHL) Beast of a player who broke out this season. One of the Steelheads’ top scorers, Martone has also been great for Canada on the international stage. SCOUT SAYS: “It’s cliché to say, ‘Would he be first out of the OHL if he was up this year?’ But I would say that without hesitation. He’s a big guy with skill and touch around…

NHL Team Reports

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING

OVER THE PAST DECADE-PLUS, Tampa Bay’s farm system spurred the team to its current prominence. After two Cup wins, the flow from the pipeline slowed. But this season, the prospect pool has shown signs of replenishment. Left winger Isaac Howard is a blue-chipper, and four of the Bolts’ top 10 prospects made their NHL debuts in 2023-24. “Everybody had solid camps, and it’s carried over to the season,” said Lightning assistant GM and director of player development Stacy Roest. “With all the different call-ups and different opportunities…it’s been fun to watch.” C– | RANK: 29TH 1. ISAAC HOWARD OVERALL 76 LW, 19, 5-11, 190 Michigan State (Big Ten) 28–7–19–26–6 2022 draft, 31st overall Coming over from Minnesota-Duluth, Howard has grown his game by leaps and bounds. In the process, he’s helped Michigan State return to a top 10…

NHL Team Reports

NEW YORK RANGERS

DURING THE RANGERS’ DAZZLING start to 2023-24, the only player from last year’s Future Watch top 10 contributing regularly for the team was left winger Will Cuylle. GM Chris Drury and coach Peter Laviolette opted for depth with experience in the summer, so D-man Zac Jones and left winger Brennan Othmann played sparingly. Injuries stalled the run, and January saw shaky goaltending, blown leads, and scoring droughts. Still, two impressive forward prospects, Gabe Perreault and Othmann, are clearly alone in the Rangers’ top tier. Othmann is closer to NHL duty. C+ | RANK: 24TH 1. GABE PERREAULT OVERALL 12 RW, 18, 5-11, 165 Boston College (HE) 29–14–34–48–12 2023 draft, 23rd overall Perreault is the top offensive force among Blueshirt prospects. His father also came in at 5-foot-11, but Yanic was 185 pounds when he played 14 NHL seasons.…